Summer is my most favorite season of the year. With cookouts, trips to the beach (minus shark attacks) and just hanging out. It seems that the pace slows a bit and I’m reminded to relax and enjoy my friends and family more. And I’m the first to love to post a pic or two on social media to share what we’ve got going on and scroll to see what all my friends are up to as well! I love it. I love all the pictures of sun and sand. Of laughter and gatherings. Reminders of how much fun life is and how capturing those moments seems to make them stand still, if even for a bit.
So recently, as I was about to post a picture of something I was excited about, a strange pit welled in my stomach and I got distracted so I didn’t get a chance to post it. And as I went back to post it later, these words to popped into to my mind: “Will you consider?” I didn’t think much of it and kept on with cropping the picture to a perfect square, with just the right filter and caption…a clever one I thought. But still the question lingered “Will you consider?”
So, I stopped and sat silently, for just a minute, and it became suddenly obvious to me that what I was about to post was going to hurt somebody’s feelings. Someone I cared for deeply. So I cancelled back out and didn’t post it. I wish I could say I have always stopped to consider, but I haven’t. I’ve pushed back the hesitation that came before I hit “share”, ignoring the quiet idea that what I was posting might hurt someone, or make my moments seem better than they really are. I have been called to the carpet a time or two about how my pictures have excluded and discouraged someone and once I finally let that truth sink in, my heart hurt. Most of us would never intentionally want to hurt others, make them feel less than or encourage insecurities in others. Some people would…I know this…but most of us wouldn’t.
Social media is so much fun. I am a lover of photos, capturing moments otherwise forgotten and the sweet gift of being able to keep up with those either far away or just in different seasons of life making seeing each other often difficult. But I wonder if you would, before each post, consider with me…
Is what I’m about to post going to make another mama feel encouraged or deflated? Included and loved or excluded and lonely?
…what would it mean if I knew I was the cause of tears shed by a lonely mama who was just trying to get by and I was making it hard for her to believe she was doing a good job.
Is what I’m about to post going to encourage young eyes to love themselves – their bodies, gifts and beauty? And even “mature” beauties’ eyes too! : )
…what if I knew I was fueling to the fears of one of my sisters curled up at night hating her body with words like disgusting, horrible and ugly.
Is what I’m about to post going to pridefully shout out my accomplishments or cheer others on to victory?
…what if I knew I was encouraging a friend to quit because they just didn’t see how they could ever measure up.
Is what I’m about to post going to help the fellas watching my feed stay pure in their thoughts or tempt them to gaze a bit to long?
…what if I could hear the sobs of a wife or a mom praying for their husband or son who’s got an online addiction…and my pictures were making it worse.
Is what I’m about to post going to gloss over my painful insecurities or reflect adoration and support for those around me?
…what if I knew that I felt better for a moment because I hid that painful place in my heart, but made a friend feel so alone believing no one could ever understand the insecurity she has.
There are so many great, beautiful, fun, exciting things to post on social media – and I love seeing every one of them. My hope is that we’d consider together – before every post – and be able to look back on our feeds at sweet moments we captured, celebrated and encouraged with each other as we share our lives.